Lee Scott steps down as CEO of Leading Edge Australia

Leading Edge Australia has been informed that current Australian CEO, Lee Scott, has decided to step down as CEO.

Leading Edge Business Update 2023

Leading Edge Australia has been informed that current Australian CEO, Lee Scott, has decided to step down as CEO. As such the Board of Directors has unanimously appointed current Chief Operating Officer, Charlie Davey, as his successor. Charlie is well known to the business, having served on the Leadership team for the last 5 years. He is a consummate retailer whose experience prior to joining Leading Edge included Camera House, OPTUS, and Big W.

Lee took over the CEO role at a time when the business was under significant pressure given the continuing challenges of the Australian retail marketplace and associated cost of living issues. He maintained and enhanced the Company’s position which has seen continued growth in initiatives such as Staff Shop, Leading Edge Appliances, Diamond Republic, Category and Essentials Membership offerings. Under his stewardship, membership has continued to grow and the financial performance of the business has stabilised. Lee is moving into semi-retirement to travel with his wife. The Board has taken the opportunity to thank Lee for his tremendous efforts and support. Not just as CEO but his work with Leading Edge that stretches back to 2004.

Charlie will assume the CEO role when Lee steps down on 31 December 2023. To support Charlie, the Board has constructed an Executive Committee (ExCo) to provide additional advice and experience to the many complexities that make up Leading Edge Australia. Lee has agreed to serve on the ExCo along with current Director and previous CEO, Simon Lane, and current Executive Consultant and ex-CEO Graham Dear. Charlie will Chair the ExCo and having three previous CEOs assisting him in hands-on activity every week will be a huge benefit to him and the Company.

As the business enters the holiday period it is no secret that trading conditions remain tough and cost of living and interest rates are contributing to a challenging retail environment. The Board took the tough decisions at the end of last financial year to restructure the Australian business and exit the New Zealand market. These decisions have led to a continued improvement in business performance to date, where budget continues to be achieved in this financial year. Membership grows and other initiatives continue to prosper. There are good cash reserves and the UK business is now in recordbreaking areas in financial performance.

It is expected that by the end of 2023-24 Financial Year, Charlie will have been able to continue and expand on the journey of the company and many exciting plans beyond. We take this opportunity to thank our employees for their tireless efforts and commitment to our members, to the Members for their continued patronage and business, to our many hundreds of Suppliers who provide the backbone and means by which we support our community, and our Shareholders for their continued support and understanding as we secure and enhance our business’s future.

The Board would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday period and a successful 2024.

Peter Knock

Text as written in Announcement to Members and Supplier Partners.

Lee Scott, former CEO of Leading Edge Australia

Pictured, former Leading Edge CEO, Lee Scott.